GOT MEEK?

“Most people think of meek as being weak.”

The seven Johnston’s

I’ve been around long enough to see discrimination up close and personal. The first encounter dealt with black people. My first recollection of this would’ve been around 1960. It was a sign on a small Selma restaurant window proclaiming, NEGROS NOT SERVED. According to my late mother, after watching a small black boy turned away, I asked her,

“Why?”

Since that time I’ve seen gay people shunned, those of Asian descent, Mexicans, Filipinos, Indians, Jewish, Christians, homeless, fat people, skinny people, senior citizens, the list goes on and on.

Perhaps one group of folks discriminated against most are dwarfs. You never hear about it because they’re quiet and the media doesn’t make hoopla over such. They’ve been looked upon as different going back to the beginning of time. Little people were often the highlight of circus acts. Sometimes they were advertised on carnival billboards as freaks of nature.

One thing I’ve noticed about little people is that they never take their discrimination to the streets. Not once have I seen them protesting or being rebellious. Why is that? In this day and age it seems they have as much right as anyone to do so. Some might say they’re meek or afraid to speak up. I highly doubt that. Although small in size, they seem large in wisdom.

Most people think of meek as being weak. The Bible mentions in Matthew 5: 5 that the meek shall inherit the world. Does that mean that weak people will take control of the universe? I had to research this verse to see exactly what it means.

spiritually meek person is not self-willed – not continually concerned with his or her own ways, ideas and wishes. They are willing to put themselves in second place and submit themselves to achieve what is good for others.

Meekness is therefore the antithesis of self-will, self-interest, and self-assertiveness. Meek people don’t envy, don’t retaliate, and exercise patience in the face of adversity.

When I was a child, I learned right off the bat that throwing a temper tantrum would not get me what I wanted.  I received more in the way of toys, snacks, and play time from my parents if I was obedient. Meekness played a big part there.

The late Martin Luther King, Jr. believed peaceful protests were the most productive. He practiced what he preached. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I used King’s method to my advantage with my parents. When I resorted to throwing a fit it resulted in more harm than good. Being meek under the Biblical principle oftentimes rewarded me. Dr. King definitely knew this where civil rights issues were concerned.

Evidently someone needs to educate current day protesters about Martin Luther King’s beliefs. Using obscenity in the streets along with violence and mayhem will not garner what they seek. It will ultimately make things worse.

Dwarfs seem to naturally understand this ideology. The Bible makes mention of it but I doubt rebellious protesters read that book. If Martin Luther King Jr. was still alive, he’d set them straight, or at least give it a good try!

American civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King lead a black voting rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery.

“YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BATEY”

“Several weeks ago I decided to break my chains and grab a handful of disobedient freedom that folks speak so highly of.”

Bill Batey

“I’m Bill Batey and I approve of this message!”

I’ve been reading about all this here controversy regarding masks. Can’t tell you one way or the other how I feel about such? Some claim it’s a “freedom” or “constitutional” issue. I can side with them or disagree as well. Does it really matter at this point?

Several weeks ago I decided to break my chains and grab a handful of disobedient freedom that folks speak so highly of.

“Go for the gusto!” as they say in Milwaukee.

I love to speed. Always have and always will! Signs, cops, and fines have been the main reasons I don’t. One Saturday morning on the way to Wal-Mart I decided to flex my truck’s muscles a bit. We’re talking 250 horses here.

“Let’r rip potato chip,” a deceased friend of mine always said.

Took the old Ford up to 85 in a 45. It felt good!

Pulling in to Wally World an hour later, I noticed a vacant spot right by the front door. Ignoring a large red and black NO PARKING sign, I wheeled on in.

Folks near the entry were putting on masks. I totally ignored that sign including another informing customers of NO SMOKING. With a lit match in my shaky hand, I fired off a big fat stogie. Smoking and shopping go together like Chevrolet, America, and homemade apple pie!

I quickly found the items I needed, and before checking out, decided to take a whiz first. Sign at the restroom door said NO MERCHANDISE PAST THIS POINT. Heck, that didn’t pertain to me. Not on this day of total freedom it didn’t!

A sign above the sink made mention of employees having to wash hands before leaving restroom. That didn’t stop this old gopher from walking out beforehand.

After paying for my goods, I rolled them to the pickup and loaded up. On the way I observed another sign asking customers to please return carts to cart racks.

“No way Jose!”

Slowly driving away, I watched that cart slowly disappear in my rear view mirror. It resembled a shimmering chrome basket in a sea of black asphalt. I couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Freedom!,” I mumbled to myself. That’s what my solitary Saturday morning protest was all about.

The speeding ticket cost $300.00, plus I now have to attend defensive driving school. Wal-Mart dropped all charges as long as I stay out of their store. Unfortunately, city ordinances regarding smoking in public places couldn’t be waved. That’ll set me back $2000.00.

As far as masks go, all employees and guests in the hospital sport one. I suppose when or if I ever crawl out from under this ventilator, I’ll be instructed to wear a facial covering. Bandannas might not be so constraining. Cowboys wore them in the movies.

Doc Brown informed me just yesterday evening,

“You’ve come a long way, Batey. In another four weeks you might just kick this Covid 19 and go home!”

You know, people can protest ’til the cows return. For me, getting out of this joint will be freedom enough to last a lifetime!

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

“I mentioned to my friend that if you had a team made up of just black players, and one of white, that he’d undoubtedly root for the black guys.”

Perfectly cloned men

work in progress

Hypothetically speaking, if everyone in the world was brown, would there be racial prejudice? I thought about this as a young person finding no definite answer. It’s taken many years for me to finally come to the conclusion, that yes, prejudice would be alive and well even if all people were brown.

Eye color would be the next thing some discriminatory folks would go after. If all eyes were deep blue you’d think the problem would be solved? Not so. Height is another area to critique.

Create all people in this world a perfect 5’ 10” and things would be hunky dory? Sounds logical but it doesn’t hold water. There are numerous other areas to consider.

Language is a huge barrier so lets make Spanish the solitary dialect. This could be obtainable with a lot of effort although it might take a thousand years to get there. Now that we’re all brown, have blue eyes, and can speak the same lingo, things would be perfect? Hold on one minute, social class would come into play next.

Some folks having lots of money would look down on those less fortunate and vice versa. According to leftists experts, and I use expert loosely here, the playing field could be evened by introducing socialism, even though such has been tried with complete failure.

With socialism, someone smart and investing their funds wisely could easily gain advantage over the unwise crowd. Extra money would then be taken from them and distributed to all. Financial savvy socialists would definitely have prejudice towards the unwise population by this action.

Those having hair and not having hair can be added to the list. I could go on and on here.

It seems that prejudice can only be totally eliminated by having everyone cloned perfectly the same. In doing so, mindset would have to be equal as well. What a wonderful world that would be.

Several years ago, I told a black friend that prejudice was much like football. He didn’t quite get it until I further explained.

Eddie’s favorite football team is the Oakland Raiders, and mine the Miami Dolphins. I informed Eddie that color has a lot to do with team choice, and not so much the city where a team’s located. This has been proven. The black and silver of the Raiders is aggressive in nature. The white and teal green of the Dolphins not so much.

Raider’s fans have always been one of the more vocal in NFL. Oakland Raider’s supporters have been known to mix it up a bit before and after games. I can’t say the same of Miami Dolphins’ fan base. Perhaps that has a lot to do with how the fish have fared these past 20 years.

I told Eddie that if all football teams wore white, the rivalry would lessen, and that it all wore black, it would increase. Red is also an aggressive color. If you don’t believe me ask a bull or a cop.

I mentioned to my friend that if you had a NFL team made up of strictly black players, and one of white, that he’d undoubtedly root for the black guys. Thinking about it for several seconds and being honest, Eddie agreed.

I told him I’d root for the white, although I’d try not to show my bias. People inherently have a tendency to cheer for their race. There’s nothing wrong with that.

When I asked Eddie what he thought of two teams playing each other, where all athletes were white, and both teams sported white and teal uniforms his reply was,

You’re describing one boring event!”

When I turned things around using African-American players, wearing black and silver jerseys he responded,

That’d be one awesome game!”

I was hoping Eddie would say that. That gave me the opportunity to finalize my analogy,

You sound a bit racist.”

My harsh remark caught him totally off guard. He seemed angry, yet quickly chilled at the notion. Had Eddie not saw my reasoning for the statement I was prepared to duck.

Unless further generations become perfectly cloned which is impossible, I don’t believe prejudice will ever go away in our society. Much like rivalries between sports teams, the best we can hope for is to control such.

Oakland Raiders

DO IT FOR BOOMER

“I doubt most folks knew what they were doing to the poor animals inside.”

Western Arizona Humane Society – 2610 Sweetwater – Lake Havasu City, Arizona

I love fireworks as much as anyone. The vivid,splintering -colors and booming explosions are mind numbing. There is a place for such activities though, and it’s not directly around the new Western Arizona Humane Society (WAHS) building.

I live a block away from this beautiful facility. Not once have I heard an animal bark or cry from that direction until several nights ago (July 4th). Illegal fireworks were being set off next to the structure in a vacant field, including all around the area. Many people took part with a good many driving to the area.

I doubt most folks knew what they were doing to the poor animals inside. Across Highway 95, on Maricopa, “commercial grade’ fireworks were exploding high overhead. This went on for several hours. The concussions were loud enough to rattle home windows. Stepping outside, and walking over to the shelter, I could hear dogs barking and howling out of mortified fear through the thick, well-insulated walls.

Thankfully, a L.H.P.D. officer stopped by and informed people in the dirt lot about this situation. The group was kind enough to move their festivities farther down the street. Not so with those on Maricopa, Osborn, Sweetwater, including other side streets. The last explosion was at 2:05 a.m. I know, because I was up tending to my own dog.

Next year, hopefully there’s a concentrated effort to curb firework displays close to the Western Arizona Humane Society building. I’m sure WAHS Director Patty Gilmore would be appreciative, and I know without doubt the animals inside that place would be as well. They are unable to speak out so I’m doing it for them. Please do it for “Boomer” and the rest of his furry pals.

Thank you!

BIG BOY BITES THE DUST

“From what witnesses said, several rioters claimed that Bob had been a member of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.”

A Bob’s “Big Boy” statue in El Segundo, California was the scene of a peaceful protest turned violent late Wednesday afternoon.

Berta Butz, a local El Segundo resident, said that demonstrators were marching peacefully for an unknown cause when one young man, believed to be an ANTIFA member on crack, attacked Big Boy and began yelling racial epithets at him. Others quickly joined in.

From what witnesses said, several rioters claimed that Bob had been a member of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Other protesters began taunting the lifeless statue.

The angry group then tossed a rope over his fiberglass body and attempted to pull it down by hand. Unable to do so, they fastened their rope to the rear bumper of a protester’s Kia automobile. When the vehicle bumper came flying off, a larger Ford truck took over.

As Big Boy tumbled cheers were heard and fists raised in the air. Afterwards, one of the protesters was interviewed by an El Segundo reporter. When informed that Big Boy wasn’t actually born until 1954, and that the Civil War didn’t end until 1865, she replied to him,

“You’re kidding me, right?”

So far police have refused to press charges. When asked why, one officer wishing to remain anonymous said,

“There are no laws on the books for being stupid!”

Other than a few scrapes and scratches, Big Boy was not seriously damaged. Within minutes of the protester’s departure, a small group of senior citizens converged and had the big kid standing on his pedestal like nothing ever happened.

More as this story develops.

HERE’S AT YA

“It’s all a conspiracy. This Covid crap is just another stinkin’ flu!”

“Big Don” Dimbo

No one was going to tell “Big Don” Dimbo he had to wear a mask in the grocery store. After all, the man served his country for 22-years and freedom was important to him. He’d told that young fella at the door where to stick it when suggested he use some type face covering.

Browsing in the produce section, “Big Don” ran into his cardiologist, Dr. Paul Wagner.

“How’s it going Don?, the doctor politely asked. Shouldn’t you be wearing a mask?”

“Big Don” went into a full 5-minute spiel on how masks didn’t work, how constraining they were, and no one was going to take his freedom away by forcing him to wear one. He ended his tirade by claiming,

“It’s all a conspiracy. This Covid crap is just another stinkin’ flu!”

Dr. Wagner could only smile and wish him the best before leaving.

Two weeks passed before “Big Don” was rushed to Harborview Medical Center with chest pains. Tests showed that he had several blocked arteries. Bypass surgery was immediately performed.

A couple of day later, Dr. Wagner walked into Don’s hospital room to check on him.

Did you see the video of your procedure?

Yes I did.” Don replied. “Thanks for the great work. By the way, I noticed in the film you didn’t have on a mask. What’s with that?

“Good observation Don! You put me at risk in the grocery store so I thought I’d return the favor. You were right about that freedom thing, it’s so less constraining.”

Before leaving, Dr. Wagner had one last thing to tell his patient.

“By the way, after your surgery it was discovered I’m asymptomatic. I tested positive to carrying a virus of sorts. They’re running tests. I’m sure it’ll turn out to be nothing more than another stinkin’ flu. I wouldn’t worry about it unless of course, you develop a cough, runny nose, aches and pains, or a fever!”

“Big Don” Dimbo

TAKE A BULLET

“Call me insensitive, but I’m all for whatever drastic action it takes to get inebriated drivers off the road.”

The drunk driver of this “bullet” survived impact with tree, but not before an innocent child was struck by it and killed. (1939)

Not once do I recall people protesting or rioting in the streets, after the needless death or deaths caused by a drunk driver.


The media has never pushed for such drastic action, nor have specific political, ethnic, race, or religious groups. No liquor stores have been torched or looted as well. That seems absolutely amazing to me!


Some might say M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) adequately voiced their concerns. Yes, they did to a point, but never to the level of being carried on all major television station for hours on end . How much attention do you suppose M.A.D.D. would’ve received had they set fire to Donnie’s Drive-thru Liquor Store? I doubt if it would’ve made the news at all.


I’ve always thought that drunk drivers get off way too easy for taking a life. After all, it’s nothing more than murder. Any time you see or hear of police taking an intoxicated driver off the street, be thankful. That arrested person was behind the wheel of a loaded weapon, one way more powerful than a 44 Magnum. In other words, a car or truck in a drunk driver’s hands is nothing short of a giant “bullet”.

Inebriated drivers are a mere gas pedal away from planting a loved one six-feet-under. Be especially thankful the deceased isn’t your son, daughter, mother, father, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, or friend.
It seems society is way too protective of drunk drivers. They’re coddled in my opinion. All it takes is a good lawyer to put them back on the road with an open bottle.

Call me insensitive, but I’m all for whatever drastic action it takes to get inebriated drivers off the road.


I’d much rather see them take a proverbial bullet, than for any of my family or friends taking theirs.

Drunk driver of the darker car in background struck and seriously injured several people including killing a 2-year-old child.

TEXAS VACATION

“If everyone chips in $25.00 for gas we’ll head back out tomorrow.”

Lawrence Everett (1954 – 2014)

I worked with Lawrence Everett in Alaska for over 25 years. We were not only co-workers, but good friends. Sadly, he passed away of a sudden heart attack soon after retiring in 2014.

I’d like to share a story that Lawrence told us guys one day at lunch. This was after he returned home from a Texas vacation. You’ll have to read between the lines to catch Lawrence’s dry sense of humor.

*******************************************************

TEXAS VACATION

Most of the Everett family lived in Texas. When they all got together, a few nephews made mention of Lawrence being,

“Our rich uncle from Alaska.”

Every few years he’d fly to Texas and visit them.

On this particular trip, Lawrence jetted to ‘The Lonestar State’ via commercial airline, quickly making arrangements for his cousins, nephews, and brother to go fishing at Lake Texarkana.

He prearranged to rent a boat for the day, splurged for a large rental car to get them all there, forked over cash for needed fishing gear and bait, licenses for those needing one, including food and drink.

They fished most of the morning before stopping at noon to grill some rib-eye steaks. After eating, Lawrence and his entourage went back out for the rest of the afternoon. Driving home that night the men were flat tuckered out. One of his kin piped up,

That was the most fun I’ve had in ages. Wish we could do it again!”

Lawrence informed the man that they could. There was one simple stipulation,

“If everyone chips in $25.00 for gas we’ll do it again tomorrow.”

That’s all he expected them to pay for.

Dead silence. Lawrence said he quickly dropped the subject.

A co-worker immediately asked,

“What did you guys do the rest of your vacation?”

Lawrence didn’t hesitate before replying.

“I’m not sure what they did? I left for Austin the next morning and had a great time. Saved a couple thousand bucks by doing so!”

********************************************************

The whole room erupted in laughter. Most everyone had experienced similar situations in their own lives.

Straight faced throughout, not once did Lawrence crack a smile during his spiel. He was what I call,

“A master story teller.”

Lawrence didn’t like having his picture taken as can be seen in this photo. He wanted me to delete it. I’m glad I didn’t.

WHATEVER TURNS YOUR CRANK

“Little did women’s libbers realize, that their protests actually kindled unbridled sexual thoughts in a certain adolescent boy’s head.”

College students burning the American flag in Washington D.C. supposedly for “inequality” sake.

(Written before the George Floyd death)

In the late evening, I often sit in my easy chair and watch Americans protesting one thing or another on television. My ritual goes back many years. I’ve noticed that this generation of young people seem to detest more things than any other in history. Perhaps it’s not right for me to confess, but I make visual observations on the type of clothing protesters wear. I also look at body proportion to see if the demonstrators have been malnourished. Shame on me!

I’ve never witnessed a protester in this country wearing rags, or with ribs protruding through skin due to starvation. I have seen thousands of designer-brand-shirts and overweight people marching down the streets stuffed inside of them.

There’s nothing wrong with protesting. It’s allowed in our United States Constitution. I do have serious problem with protesters turning to violence as a means to garner attention. Most law abiding protesters are on my side in this arena.

When I was a kid, my brother remembers me being at the dinner table complaining because I’d been shorted. Jim said it had to do with dessert. I’m sure my griping was in jest, yet one time he claims we got into a heated argument over slices of cake. I supposedly accused Jim of taking the largest piece. That’s hard not to believe. Mom evidently stepped in before things escalated. She was good at cooling our jets. Logic dictates I would’ve belly-ached to her,

“It’s not fair!”

Children back then used that statement as they often do now. My grandchildren do for sure and I still love them. Adults are notorious for vocalizing the same mournful cry. My dad often told me that life isn’t fair, and that it never will be. His ending statement was,

“Get use to it!”

During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, protesters marched throughout America demanding that President Johnson and President Nixon pull our troops from Vietnam. Some young men torched their draft cards as a way to get attention when cameras were rolling. Others burned a cardboard likeness of either president in effigy. On one occasion things didn’t work out so well because of rain. They tore up Nixon’s photo instead.

In 1969, a group of women’s lib demonstrators set their bras on fire as a protest against feminist exploitation. This was purposely done in front of the Miss America Pageant headquarters. As a teenager, I recall bra burning more than government-issued draft cards going up in flame. A friend of mine went so far as to proclaim,

“I wish all girls would burn their bras!”

Little did women’s libbers realize, that their their protests actually kindled unbridled sexual thoughts in a certain adolescent boy’s head. That was part of the reason these gals were protesting; females being viewed as sex objects by males.

The same thirteen-year-old friend actually developed a crush on women’s rights activist, Gloria Steinem. The to remain anonymous fellow had a thing about girls wearing glasses. He claimed they were smarter. He still does.

Gloria Steinem

I never took time to protest anything in my life. In hindsight, I didn’t have time for such activity. Not everything in my 66-years has been fair, yet thankfully my parents, teachers, pastors, and friends taught we to drive around any unfairness coming my direction. I did so partly by working for stuff rather than expecting it to be handed to me. Most, if not all of my friends walked the same gauntlet. Those pensive thoughts bring forth this unanswered question,

“With so many people protesting, does anyone work anymore?”

I know I’m not the only person wondering such!

Mom said that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go ’round. She never fully explained her thoughts yet I pretty much grasped the idea.

A few months back, when I watched an American protester sporting a Hugo Boss sweatshirt and carrying an Apple iPod in one hand, with a professionally made sign in the other, they failed to get any sympathy or empathy from me. I totally forget what their cause was at this point.

Pastor Chad Garrison at Calvary Baptist Church told our congregation several times,

“The poorest of poor in the United States has it better off than 90% of all people in third-world-countries where food, clean water, clothing, shelter, and medical care are concerned.”

Pastor Garrison would know as he’s been to many of these poverty stricken areas.

Not once during my television watching hours, have I witnessed a group of starving Ethiopian youngsters marching down a dusty road in protest of anything. If anyone should have a right to protest for inequality or unfairness, it would be these unfortunate Africans, plus other third-world-country residents.

I’d love to ask young folks protesting in this country one question,

“Are things really that bad or is it you just don’t think life’s fair?”

I believe a good many couldn’t reasonably answer that question without going into a tyrant. Going back to what my father told me over 50-years ago regarding fairness,

“Life isn’t fair, never will be, so get use to it!”

There’ll be some people totally disagreeing with my thoughts. Our U.S. Constitution allows freedom of speech so I’m in safe haven. For those wanting to push a red button looking for a verbal fight, like my late mother, I have a favorite saying of my own,

“Whatever turns your crank!”

Hopefully those in disagreement won’t expect me to hang around and debate my opinion. I didn’t take time years ago to protest, and these days I have more important things to do than argue.

Peace out!”

Impoverished Ethiopian children give a realistic meaning to “unfair and inequality.”

MY FATHER

“My father never had a formal business education, so that rule didn’t apply to him.”

My late father, Troy Lee Hankins

Father’s Day is near. I didn’t want to wait until June 21st to honor dad through simple written words. I think of him every day. Certain traits that my father possessed stand tall above all others. He was never a touchy-feely kind of guy. Most of the time he kept his sensitive side hidden. I believe there was reason for that.

Dad went through much tragedy during his childhood years. At twelve, he was standing beside his younger brother, and watched in horror as a can of burning gasoline accidentally set the youth on fire. James Columbus Hankins died within hours from his burns.

Several years later my father was riding motorcycles with a friend. He found out the next morning that his pal never made it home. The teenager was killed in a head on collision with a car. Mom said that dad silently grieved for a long time.

In 1957, my father was ejected at high-speed from a Corvette sports car on Route 66 near Victorville, California. He survived by miraculously landing in a pile of sand. God was definitely looking over him that morning. Dad walked with a pronounced limp afterwards because of a metal rod implanted in his leg by doctors, to strengthen the shattered bone.

In 1972, he survived three days in -40 degree weather after crashing his airplane in Canada. Mother was with him. She never flew in small planes again, yet the accident didn’t deter him. Dad was back in the cockpit several weeks later.

Dad was not a perfect person. He had his share of faults like others. We butted heads on more than one occasion. Mom said I was like my father in many ways. She never specified what traits we shared. Hopefully she meant the good ones.

One thing pop never did was back down from his beliefs. Most business professors tell you, don’t bring religion or political affiliation inside business walls.

My father never had a formal business education, so that rule didn’t apply to him. Even if he had been advised by experts to keep personal ideology out of his business, he would’ve ignored them.

I recall more than once, someone walking into dad’s automotive part’s store, and spouting off about a specific political poster taped to the front window. The old man would quietly stand and listen before telling them,

“You need to go down the street!”

That generally made the person tight-jawed and furious. Choice words were often uttered by these folks before leaving.

Some people strolled into his store with the philosophy that the customer is always right. Dad didn’t see things that way. If they were wrong he told them so. On several occasions my father showed an irate customer the front door. In spite of such, he was highly successful in his business endeavors.

A friend of dad’s owned a gas station close by. This man once asked,

“Aren’t you worried your open support of Republican candidates will offend people?”

My father didn’t hesitate in replying,

“That’s their problem!”

Political correctness is something dad wanted no part of. I echo his sentiment. My thick skin was definitely inherited from the ‘old man’, including a small portion of it from mom.

I believe my father is looking down at me, proud, and that’s all that counts on Father’s Day!

My dad with mom in front of their Anchorage, Alaska parts store (1977).